Zarif: Iran rights priority in any nuclear deal

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran will reject demands that fail to recognize the country’s rights, assuring Iranians enrichment will never stop.

In an interview with the Iranian state TV after a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, Zarif assured Iranians that uranium enrichment would never stop and that Tehran would not bow to “excessive demands.

“We are not prepared to commit to any (deal) that damages Iran’s rights and interests,” the Iranian foreign minister said on Saturday, adding that “in any agreement, enrichment in Iran will not be suspended.

Zarif’s remarks came as US Secretary of State John Kerry and the foreign ministers of other world powers gathered in Geneva on the fourth day of the talks which are aimed at resolving the West’s decade-old standoff with Iran over its nuclear energy program.

“We have now entered a very difficult stage… that requires the presence of foreign ministers,” Zarif said.

The arrival of the top diplomats “shows the seriousness of the talks,” he added.

Deputy foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany and Iran also held nuclear negotiations in Geneva.

In a Saturday Tweet, Iran’s deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi, described the talks as “difficult and breathtaking”.

Saturday talks aim to narrow the remaining gaps and finalize a nuclear deal between the two sides, which fell through in the last round of talks a fortnight ago.

During the last round of talks in Geneva, a first-step agreement was within reach but the position taken by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in favor of the Israeli regime and a lack of commitment by US Secretary of State John Kerry spoiled the negotiations.

Meanwhile, informed sources say the six world powers have accepted the Islamic Republic’s right to enrich uranium. The issue has been Iran’s key red line and a major bone of contention between the two sides.

By Press TV

 

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